than 4,000 people aboard the cruise ship triumph, stranded for days. adrift at sea. cnn's martin savidge takes us through the ultimate holiday nightmare. >> fun in the sun, that's the promise of the carnival triumph, and with lots to offer, a casino, disco, spa, swimming pools, all you can eat, passengers expected plenty when departing galveston last thursday. on sunday morning, the moment of crisis. in a flash, a fire breaks out in one of the ship's two engine rooms. a passenger shoots this cell phone video. at first, the thousands aboard don't know the ship is crippled. adrift in the middle of the gulf of mexico. but by day's end, it's obvious this virtual floating city is almost completely powerless with nothing but back-up generators. passengers find themselves without hot water or working toilets, and eventually, without enough to eat. you can hear the desperation in the calls from the ship. >> it takes three and a half hours to get food. the smells -- i can't even describe them. there is sewage, raw sewage. pretty bad. you walk in the hall way, you have to cover your face.